Here are Celtics' chief competitors for Anthony Davis

WEEI
January 28, 2019 - 5:33 pm

By MATEO AYCARDI

The NBA drama never fails to disappoint.

All-NBA Forward Anthony Davis notified the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday that he is requesting a trade from the only place he’s ever called home since entering the league in 2012.

The Pelicans, who sit at 13th in the West with a 22-28 record, will be forced to entertain packages for one of the most talented big men in recent history before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2020.

Per Davis’ agent Rich Paul, an ideal landing spot would feature: "A team that allows him (Davis) the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship."

While there are a number of different suitors that will be lining up to make their collective voices heard in the midst of this trade chaos, the obvious players in such a trade are rumored to be the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks, and [potentially> the Boston Celtics.

The Lakers

For general manager Magic Johnson, the time to strike is now.

With Davis upset and requesting a trade from the bottom-feeding Pelicans, the clock is ticking to get Davis in a Laker jersey without giving the Pelicans much time to think about it. For New Orleans, keeping their disgruntled superstar around past the trade deadline might increase the locker-room drama as the Pelicans fall further into irrelevance in the West.

LeBron James has strong ties to Davis as they both share an agent in Rich Paul. But if L.A was to make a move for Davis, the loss of several young players might hinder their possibility at a significant run in the playoffs.

While a move to Los Angeles might put him in the most desirable position to win right away, it would certainly not be the best fit for Davis long term. This is even more obvious with the fact that New Orleans would be asking for the majority if not all of the Lakers’ young core.

The Celtics

The Celtics are without a doubt the team best equipped to handle a trade with the magnitude that Davis demands.

Problem is, they can’t make a move until the offseason.

Seeing that they acquired Kyrie Irving in an exchange with the Cavaliers, a trade for Davis would not be in the works for Boston until the summer thanks to the Rose Rule. For Boston, this isn’t particularly exciting news since the Pelicans will surely be getting increasing offers with the trade deadline looming.

But the good news is that since Boston will have the best combination of young talent and picks to make a trade work, New Orleans might wait up in order to gain leverage and truly get the most they can from dealing Davis.

Other members of the media are not so optimistic about a Davis to Boston scenario though.

Yahoo NBA Insider Chris B Haynes has reported that the Celtics are not ‘a top target’ for Davis due to Kyrie Irving’s impending free agency decision.

Boston seems to check off all the boxes except timing when it comes to the big man. The Celtics employ a championship caliber supporting cast and an NBA Finals Hero in Kyrie Irving (should he resign). They also present the best scenario for Davis when it comes to long term success and a market that will advance his pursuit of endorsements.

Celtics fans need not worry, as the chances that New Orleans deals Davis before listening to other offers during the summer seems unlikely.  

The Knicks

The Knicks were cemented as one of the surprising horses in the race for Davis thanks to Haynes as well.

While the Knicks may not have the ideal scenario when it comes to winning right away/in the near future, they do have a tremendous market in a big city with the potential to make some moves if they manage to land him.

For a deal to work out though, the Knicks might have to fork over a combination of young talent in the form of Kevin Knox, Kristaps Porzingis, and a bevy of potentially unprotected first rounders for the deal to make sense.

But, as Haynes noted, the Knicks do have some hope for turning around their luck.

Should New York somehow land Davis prior to the deadline, they will be major players to lure Kevin Durant from the Warriors in the offseason. They would also be players to try to snag Kyrie Irving from the Celtics or Kemba Walker from the Hornets.

The Pelicans have an astronomical decision to make, and the timing of said decision could be just as important as the decision itself.

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